Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Happy 30th to Us! *Warning: Sentimentality Ahead*

"Marriage is not a noun; it's a verb. 
It isn't something you get. It's something you do
It's the way you love your partner every day." 
(Barbara De Angelis)

Here are just a handful of ways I love doing marriage with you:
  1. I love how you always put family first.
  2. I love it that our greatest investments are in memory-making times for our family, whether it was playing board games, or swimming, or date-days or camping/ caravanning or overseas trips. 
  3. I love that you are such a great dad, always involved and interested in Our Girls world.
  4. I love that you will eat anything I cook and thank me for it and say it was good. (even when I know it wasn't really) - and that you are happy to sometimes have the same meal two days in a row! (Because stew and curries are generally better on the second day anyway!)
  5. I love that we always choose to be with one another and put one another first
  6. I love that we complement one another: You are the practical /logical and I am the impetuous /passionate - and yet we have managed to rub off a little on one another!
  7. I love it that we know how to have fun together.
  8. I love that we don't subscribe to "performance roles" - I am happy to mow and change a plug and you are happy to do the dishes or sweep the floor.
  9. I love that we are not afraid to admit when we are wrong and apologise, and we are quick to forgive
  10. I love that we get excited about new adventures and don't mind taking a (calculated) risk!
  11.  I love that we make room for each others to do the things we each love: golf, frosty beach walks, running and teaching - I love that you will come to the theatre with me even though you are "not a fan" of a lot of it!
  12. I love your compassion and generosity- always helping anyone in need.
  13. I love it that you bring me coffee every morning and I make you tea after work every afternoon.
  14. I love having a glass of wine and sharing stories of our days when we cook together.
  15. I love that we can sit together and watch sport all day and not feel bad about it!  ;)
  16. I love that you don't care if I don't wear make up - in fact, for you ... less is best. Which suits me fine.
  17. Last but not least.. I love it that we are best friends and that we have one another's backs.
I am sure there are lots more but it's early and I need my second cup of coffee before I can (a) think straight and (b) focus my eyes  (I apologise if there are typos - I will check it again later... after coffee!)

Happy 30th Anniversary Baby... 
I cannot wait for the next 30+ years of doing life together with you. 
Love you buckets full.



Saturday, September 16, 2017

Mini "Quota" Rant Ahead.

So a 57-0 loss to the Kiwis today. Of course the whole "quota" word gets thrown around on Social Media together with a few names. For the record, I don't think the "quota" players had any more to do with the loss than the ridiculous game played by the entire team. The game plan needs to change - not necessarily the players.

Since I prefer cricket, I am going to swing my conversation to them - Players like Tsotsobe, Big Vern, Duminy, Bavuma, Rabada, Amla, Tahir (to name a few) are exceptional - they should not be "quota" players - they should be players. I want to argue FOR them and all our "quota" players everywhere.

It reminds me of Affirmative Action - if you are a person of colour, a woman, or disabled - you get chosen to fill a post before any white able-bodied person.... I don't know about you, but I would NOT like to be the token person in any company - I want to be there because I am damn good at what I do and I have earned it.

I am sure it is the same with sport  -  who wants to be the "token" "quota" player? Surely they cannot like it either.

So I want the quota system gone. Not because I think more white players need to be in BUT because I want the players of colour to know that they are good, valued and deserving of their position in the squad.

*Minor rant over.


Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Out of the Shadows & into Glory


This is my brief tribute to Graham Ingram, a man that meant a lot to me, who not only taught me The Bible, but also about life.

Even as I write, 'meant a  lot to me', one would expect we were friends. I called him a friend, although I am not altogether sure he would have called me one - I would like to think he did.

He was eccentric and quirky, incredibly knowledgeable and a great Bible teacher....and I won't beat about the bush, he could also be brusque. Yet, from when I first met him, in a Church History Course at Bible School, I developed a soft spot and a real affection for him, and this only grew over time, as he challenged me (in a way that only Graham could!) to know and understand why I believe what I believe, and not just take what was 'dished out'.

He could get distracted during lectures, wandering into little sub-topics, but I was never bored or frustrated, because he was so interesting and his experiences added something personal to a lecture. I remember he joined us and my folks for dinner one evening at our home, and he kept us all highly entertained with stories about his life and experiences around the world. 

I remember that during the time of these courses, I bumped into him at Pick 'n Pay, I went up to him and greeted him and asked him how he was, and he barely looked at me, muttered something, and walked right on. I was devastated. What had I done to offend him so badly? This worried me the entire week until our next lecture, and I asked him, to which he just bluntly replied that I had not offended him, but he didn't like shopping and didn't want to chat. I was relieved. Honesty, is always best in my book, and I cannot tell you how much I actually identify with his sentiment!

But that was my first encounter with the brusque Graham. There were more, and one even left me in tears and wondering why I pursued this relationship, but in my heart was this soft spot that refused to harden...and over the years there were glimpses of friendship between us, that made these abrupt moments worth it.

There are a few interactions that I will never forget:

  • I invited him to come along with my mom and I to hear Philip Yancey speaking. I remember feeling a bit nervous because frankly, I felt a bit intimidated by Graham too. However, it was a really easy and memorable evening and I felt that he enjoyed it too.
  • He was always at the gym. Usually he would just acknowledge me with a hello-look, but the one day, he actually came up to me and engaged in a conversation that probably lasted close to 30min, and it wasn't a superficial one - or I wouldn't remember it.
  • Another was at his house, I used to pop up there from time to time to give him a hand with PC related things, and usually the conversation was very much kept to what needed to be done and instructions, with the odd courtesy conversation. Once or twice I tried to talk to him about cricket, because in my mind anyone that was from England MUST love cricket. Didn't usually work, (and I have found the same about Indians - they don't all watch cricket either!) :) But one day, out of the blue we just talked... like real friends.
  • Then most recently. We had (I think), already moved over here, and we were down visiting. We were having supper at the Ocean Basket and I saw him sitting and eating there. I excused myself from the table to go and say hello. I told my family that I would just be a second, because the chances are that he would look at me, say hello, and continue eating. When he greeted me by name and invited me to sit down, I was stunned. I honestly even forgot my family and had a lovely chat with him.  I am so happy that that was my last interaction with him.
Graham, I know I cannot say that I knew you well, or probably even a little, but after reading your book all those years ago, I wonder if perhaps you were afraid of truly being known for fear of being hurt. But I hope you knew how fond I was of you, how much I admired and respected you, for the walk you walked, and your desire to please God no matter what. I feel honoured to have been able to walk some of your journey with you. Usually dragging behind - but occasionally, alongside you as a friend.

When I heard you had passed on. Part of me was sad, but the other part was thankful that now you can truly be with the One who you so passionately pursued, and for whom you sacrificed so much.

So you've truly stepped Out of the Shadows... and into His wonderful light.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Back to Normal

It's the 5th January and today I am finally unpacking my little suitcase that went with us over the Christmas weekend. I just haven't had it in me to unpack. It's the last piece of evidence that My Girl has was here.  There are many clues to the fact that she was here, bits 'n pieces that couldn't fit into her case home, but it's not her.  My Man is back at work - so life essentially is back to normal.

Every time family visits it's difficult when they leave. The first time she visited and went back, I knew it was going to be tough and had mentally prepared myself, and told myself it would get easier every time - I was wrong. With each visit from family it has got more difficult to say goodbye.

I was so thankful to a friend of mine here who messaged me and asked if I wanted to go for a walk yesterday. If she hadn't I probably would have stayed in bed.  The day before I rearranged furniture - you do what you need to do to make it easier, until it is.

To make it worse this time, a lady who has become really special to me, is leaving after 3.5 years here. She is heading half way around the planet, to more snow and cold, on their new adventure, and I am so happy for them. However, I have said this before, I know in my head that as long as we are here, I have to hold friendships with open hands, because more often than not, people leave. I have heard people say that if they are here on contract work, or may leave, that they just don't invest time in friendships because it's a 'waste', if you have to leave. I cannot see relationships like that, for me it is just that they become deeper, faster because all time is like on fast forward.

Anyway, I am waffling now, just because I am sad My Girl is back home and I am sad my friend is going. It's OK to be sad about stuff - I won't ever pretend that this part of this adventure is without pain, some of it is really blimming difficult.

Aaannyyyway, it snowed a bit, the sun has come out and I want to go for a walk before it melts.

French starts on the 12th and then things will feel normal to me again.

Have lovely days people.
L

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Write500

A short and sweet post to invite you to join me in this years challenge of writing a minimum of 500 words a day, inspired by a prompt you receive via email.

Click to find out more about it on FB or the website.

I have only done 3 days but I must say that even though I am not a writer, I am so enjoying the process of imagining / thinking and writing the story. Here is my site, The 500 Challenge, just FYI:

I also have a "500 Words" Tab on this Blog for a quick reference.

If you decide to do it too, please share your blog with me, so that I can read your take on the prompt! It's really fun to see the differences we have.



Enjoy!
L

Monday, January 2, 2017

It was about NY... then it wasn't.

Happy New Year!

FB timeline memories are really great for reminding us of moments in the past. I do quite love this feature. I compare New Years Day here to back in SA. It's summer back home and really nothing like summer here.
My Beach in SA on 1.1.2017
(Photographer unknown - taken from FB)
Along a road here on NYD
It's fascinating that the world is so vast and contains so many incredible landscapes and moments that can just fill you with such a sense of wonder.

It's so multidimensional. A bit like God, I suppose. We tend to view him through the eyes of our experience of church or religion - and what that has taught us about him - and yet may never have experienced him for ourselves.

Some may have experienced him as cold, monotone and distant and wanted to keep their distance from him, and others experience him as warm, vibrant and peaceful. 

The truth is that even if you are keeping your distance from him, he doesn't keep his distance from you no matter your experience. You may just not recognise his persistence in getting your attention, whether it's through a sunrise or a frosty tree. 

He is known and yet remains a mystery - it's one of his most engaging qualities!

(OK... This post is not really going in the direction I had planned - nonetheless, I will leave it, and write the post I was going for another time.)



Wishing you all a year filled with wonder at the multidimensionalness
of the Creator of the universe, and Lover of our souls.